Get paid £50 as a Professional Glastonbury Queuer

Glastonbury Festival is one of the biggest events of its kind, but every year thousands of people miss out because they can’t get their hands on any tickets. That’s why we’ve launched our newest service – Professional Glastonbury Queuer.

We’ve launched the service to help time-strapped members of the public who are desperate to secure tickets as soon as they go on sale – but may not have the time or ability to do so.

The Glastonbury Queuing service has launched across the whole of the UK, ahead of the 50th anniversary of the event next June and is available to all members of the public that have registered with the Festival.

Customers will be asked how many tickets they require (up to a maximum of six) and if they want tickets with a coach package included, as well as a number of other questions relating to the transaction.

If you’re looking to sign-up as a Professional Glastonbury Queuer, you must provide a photo ID and be subject to a full background check. Bark.com will facilitate the agreement but we recommend a contract is written up between you and the customer to agree on the transfer of money and terms. While paying for the help of a Professional Glastonbury Queuer can greatly increase people’s chances of securing the coveted Glastonbury tickets, it is not a guarantee of tickets to the Festival.

As with all Bark.com professionals, Professional Glastonbury Queuers can set their own fees, but it’s thought prices will start from £50. All fees must be paid in advance of queuing, and customers can negotiate an optional ‘buying bonus’ with Professional Glastonbury Queuers if they do manage to secure tickets should they wish.

The general admission tickets for Glastonbury Festival 2020 go on sale Sunday 6th October at 9am. Tickets to Glastonbury Festival including coach travel go on sale Thursday 3rd October at 6pm. The 50th anniversary Glastonbury festival will be held from 24th to 28th June 2020 at Worthy Farm.

If you think this sounds right up your street, sign-up here.

People looking to get hold of Glastonbury tickets can book a Professional Glastonbury Queuer here.

Bark.com co-founder, Kai Feller said,

“Glastonbury Festival is one of the biggest music events in the world, with hundreds of thousands of people trying to get tickets all at the same time. Our Professional Glastonbury Queuer service aims to give those Festival fans that can’t get online when tickets go on sale – whether that’s due to work and/or family commitments, unreliable WiFi, or no access to a smartphone or computer – the same chance as others to secure their tickets.

“While we sadly can’t guarantee tickets for anyone that uses the service, we hope we can help make some Glastonbury fans dreams of attending the 50th anniversary of the Festival come true.”

Landscapers revealed as the happiest professionals in the UK

International Week of Happiness at Work is this week, and it’s something all of us at Bark.com are huge advocates of. However, we’re aware that the majority of our professionals are self-employed, and how they feel about their jobs isn’t always recognised. 

On top of our own curiosity, recent research has revealed that workplace happiness in Britain is down 20% in the last three years, with 83% of frontline workers unable to recall anything that has made them feel more positive about their working life in the last month* – pretty shocking statistics.

So, we decided to ask 40,000 of our professionals across over 43 different sectors to fill out our Happiness Survey, to see just how happy rolling out of bed in the morning makes them.  We specifically asked them to rate how happy their jobs made them from one to five – with one being ‘unhappy’, and five ‘very happy’.

We discovered that when it comes to the happiest profession in the country, the title goes to Landscaping, closely followed by Dog Walkers and then Counsellors. 

Here are the top ten happiest professions according to our research, as well as the percentage of people which said their job makes them ‘very happy’:

  1. Landscapers – 86%
  2. Dog Walkers – 78% 
  3. Counsellors – 74%
  4. Wedding Photographers – 68%
  5. Architects – 65%
  6. Tutors – 63%
  7. Tennis Coaches – 62%
  8. Ski Instructors – 59%
  9. Gardeners – 55%
  10. Personal Trainers – 51% 

Although this week is all about happiness at work, our survey also gave us some insight into some of the unhappiest professions in the UK. The ten unhappiest professions, as well as the percentage of people who said their job made them ‘unhappy’, is as follows:

  1. Cleaners – 73%
  2. Plumbers – 68%
  3. Accountants – 61%
  4. Electricians – 60%
  5. Life Coaches – 57%
  6. Window Cleaners – 56%
  7. Painter & Decorators – 54%
  8. Lawyers – 51%
  9. Web Designers – 50%
  10. Tree Surgeons – 50% 

When asked ‘what is your favourite part about your job’, more than two thirds (67%) of the people working within the top five happiest sectors stated ‘working outside’. On the other hand, for the people who worked within the five unhappiest sectors, when asked what they most disliked about their job, more than half (59%) said they felt their job had ‘no real value’ – which we found surprising.

We also decided to break the data down by region to reveal which areas of the UK are the happiest at work. Here you can find the five happiest regions, and the percentage of professionals who stated their job made them ‘happy’ to ‘very happy’ in each of these areas:

  1. West Midlands – 71%
  2. City and County of Bristol – 68%
  3. Buckinghamshire – 62%
  4. Cornwall – 61%
  5. Wiltshire – 57%

We’ve also pulled together data for the unhappiest regions, which you can see here, as well as the percentage of respondents who selected ‘unhappy’ in our survey.

  1. Greater London – 48%
  2. Lanarkshire – 43%
  3. Lancashire – 42%
  4. Durham – 40%
  5. Surrey – 36%

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, said,

“Being happy at work is very important, both for an employee and an employer. The happier your staff are, the more productive they’ll be, and aside from this, employers should always want their employees to feel happy and valued.

“Given Bark.com’s hundreds of thousands of professionals across such a huge variety of sectors, we were in a good position to find out which professions are the ‘happiest’, and you never know, it might inspire someone to take the plunge and change careers!”

Can you help this couple out? Earn £30 an hour to wait at a naturist wedding

We pride ourselves at Bark.com on our ability to connect customers with the right professionals, no matter how crazy the job, and we’ve had our fair share of quirky requests! Sometimes some requests are little bit too niche, even for our big community of service providers, so we find reaching out to the public is a good way to get the word out and help our customers find the perfect person for the job.

Last weekend we had a couple get in touch after their previous wedding staff cancelled due to the nature of their wedding. The engaged couple are naturists and are looking for four waiting and two bar staff who are comfortable serving nude guests, as well as being in the nude themselves on the big day – this is a must.

Here is the full request:

Hi Bark,

I am in desperate need of your assistance…

I’m getting married next month and urgently need to find four waiting and two bar staff to help on the day. We’re having a small ceremony with 30 guests at my fiancé’s family home in Berkshire. We don’t require much from the staff, they just need to help serve food and drink throughout the day, the only thing we do ask, is that they do it naked. Bear with us…

My fiancé and I are naturists and fully celebrate that way of life, as do all of our family and friends, so having a nude wedding was the only way we wanted to promise ourselves to one another. 

We had previously considered having clothed staff, but we do not feel comfortable in the presence of clothed people, so why would we want to feel uncomfortable on the most special day of our lives? To say finding staff who are happy to work naked has been tough is an understatement, we’ve been let down by three sets of people so far, with the last ones initially agreeing and then as the day nears pulling out at the last minute, it’s an incredibly stressful situation when all we want is for our wedding be 100% authentic. 

We know that this isn’t something the average waiter would be happy doing, but we’re hoping that we can find people out there who are comfortable in their own skin or are naturists too. We’re not even bothered if they have waiting experience at this point, as long as they are professional and polite! We’re getting married on the 2nd of October so due to the late notice and obvious uniqueness to our circumstances, we are willing to pay a bit more than average, £30 and hour, to anyone willing to help. I’ve very successfully used Bark.com to find a dog walker and make up artist, so fingers crossed you can help us find some wedding staff!!

If you think you can help, or know anyone who can, please, please let us know!

Thanks,

*name removed as requested*

If you think you can help this couple out, please fill in this form:

Car washing revealed as the most lucrative household job when turning pro

Everyone remembers earning pocket money doing odd jobs around the house, but at Bark.com we wondered what would be the most lucrative chores to turn into a business.

With several hundred thousand self-employed professionals using Bark.com, we are well placed to interrogate our internal data to see which household jobs are worth the most to professionals. We looked at 11 different sectors and more than 12,000 quotes provided through our platform and calculated the average price per task to come up with our ultimate guide to the most profitable jobs in and around the home.

To work out the salary equivalent, we assumed professionals would work six hours a day, five days a week and take four weeks off throughout the year. On that basis, here are the annual salaries for household chores going professional.

Car valeting: £79,200

Dog walking: £56,160

Oven cleaning: £51,840

Painting and decorating: £40,320

Window cleaning: £36,000

Carpet cleaning: £36,000

Flatpack assembly: £33,120

Gutter cleaning: £28,800

Gardening: £25,200

Handyman services: £21,600

Cleaners: £18,720

We can’t help but think that some chores around the house could in fact be perfect training for a successful self-employed job in the future. There must be more than a few people wishing they’d thought more about becoming a car valeter judging by these figures!

Kai Feller, Bark.com co-founder, said,

“At Bark we work with thousands of consumers looking to find a professional to take the load off and make their lives easier. In today’s connected world, people are working longer and have less time to spend looking after their home, so it’s not surprising that the potential earnings for jobs around the home is so high. We’ve certainly seen significant increases in quotes and business conducted through our platform over the last five years.”

Survival support service launched for new students living away from home

We have launched a service for new students to help them with their new found independence. 

If you’re worried about your young adult heading off to start their new life, the new service is offering structured tutorial sessions for students to become ‘certified’ in life skills.

Our professionals are offering tutorials in life skills such as kitchen cleaning, how to repair clothes and other domestic tasks.

Sessions can be booked for groups of up to six flatmates or friends. Costs are estimated to be around £150 per session, but as with all Bark.com service providers, support tutors can set their own rates.

If you or a young adult you know needs ‘survival support’ then please click on the service required below for more information on how to book:

Cleaners

Laundry

Clothing repairs

Ironing

Oven cleaners

Financial advisors

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, said,

“Going to university can be such an exciting yet worrying time for both the student and their parents. A lot of young adults are starting on their journey of independence lacking in skills outside of their subject knowledge and these skill gaps are ones that we feel, can be easily addressed.

“We believe that providing young people with these skills will not only grow their confidence but give them the opportunity to thrive independently, which is exactly what we want and need from our young professionals.”

Not looking in mirrors enough revealed as the number one reason learner drivers are failing

Every year in the UK thousands of people learn to drive, and as resources continue to be stretched, the waiting list for learner drivers to take their test is forever-growing. So, making sure you’re as prepared as possible is important, otherwise you might end up wasting money and time should you fail.

So, we decided to survey our driving instructors to see what the most common mistakes are that learner drivers make which result in them failing. 

We asked 2,000 of our driving instructors which minors and/or majors their clients fail their test on the most and found that ‘a lack of mirror observations’ is the most common cause for a fail, followed by ‘poor road positioning’ and ‘frequent hesitation’. Failing to appropriately apply the handbrake and interpret road markings and signs were also common mistakes. 

We used the results to create a ‘top 15’ list of the most common reasons:

1)  A lack of mirror observations

2)  Poor road positioning 

3)  Frequent hesitation

4)  Failing to appropriately apply the handbrake 

5)  Failing to interpret road markings and signs  

6)  Moving away from a position when it isn’t safe   

7)  Failing to use the controls appropriately (headlights, wipers, indicators)

8)  Mounting the curb  

9)  Failing to safely stop at a junction  

10) Frequently stalling the car 

11) Pulling out from a side road when it’s unsafe

12) Lack of observations when moving across lanes

13) Pulling out unsafely at a junction

14) Being unable to follow a sat-nav/directional instructions

15) Lack of understanding of the components underneath the bonnet

As well as the list, we asked our driving instructors to put together a few top tips on how to ace a practical driving test – here’s what they said:

1) Always check your mirrors.

“Even if you’re driving in a straight line, it never hurts to continually check your mirrors. Not only does it show the instructor that you are constantly aware of what’s going on around you, it also makes driving much easier if you know where each car is placed around you. This becomes even more important when you’re moving lanes or coming up to a junction, and should be an ingrained habit by the time you come to do your test.”

2) Be aware of the other exits at junctions and roundabouts

“One of the biggest reasons people fail is because of repeated hesitation, and one of the best ways to combat this is to keep an eye on where each car enters the roundabout, and which direction they’re indicating to go. Obviously hesitating relates to confidence, however if you’re aware of where each car on the roundabout/junction is, you’ll feel much better about pulling out, and will likely find it much easier to pick your moment.”

3) Make sure you take it as easy and slow as you need

“Even though you can be penalised for going too slow, if the driving is starting to feel a bit too fast, or you don’t feel fully in control, never be afraid to slow down. The instructor would much rather you take it slightly slower and drive more safely, than to keep up with the traffic and drive in an unsafe fashion. Remember the basics your instructor taught you, don’t panic, and concentrate on driving safely at all times – it’s all about finding a balance between concentration and being relaxed.”

When asked ‘what should learner drivers focus on the most during their test’, the majority (88%) of driving instructors said ‘being aware of their surroundings’. 

More than two thirds (64%) also said examiners are looking for ‘confidence’ when marking a practical driving test.    

On top of this, more than three fifths (61%) said they regularly feel unsafe whilst instructing a lesson.

Bark.com co-founder, Kai Feller, said,

“Learning to drive is something which thousands of people go through every year, so we decided to see what the most common reasons for them failing are – and the results were insightful. Not using the mirrors properly might seem like a minor thing to fail a test on, but it’s crucial for safety and is monitored closely by examiners.

“Hopefully the guide we’ve put together with our driving instructors will shed some light on what learner drivers should focus on when preparing and taking their practical driving exam.”

Leeds tops the list of best places to start a business in the UK

For millions of business owners around the world, deciding where to set up shop is a vital decision, and one that could shape the future of their business for years to come. However, when making this decision there are numerous factors to consider, and choosing the right place can be difficult.

At Bark.com we have access to hundreds of thousands of price points from numerous business services across the UK, so decided to put our data to good use to find out where in the UK is the best place to start a business. 

We analysed location price data from the last three years across accounting, recruitment, IT support, website creation and management, marketing, SEO, internet and phone providers to find out the average start-up cost per city in the UK. 

We also took into account talent pool size, broadband quality and rent costs because some cities are incredibly cheap but wouldn’t be a viable home for most businesses. For example, Wells is cheap in terms of rent and business services, however is poor in terms of talent and broadband service.

Here is the full list of the ten best places to start a business in the UK, as well as each city’s average annual business launch cost:

1) Leeds – £15,550

2) Cardiff – £15,725

3) Liverpool – £15,744

4) Bristol – £16,013

5) Swansea – £16,082

6) Newcastle – £16,150        

7) Birmingham – £16,368

8) Manchester – £17,129

9) Edinburgh – £17,174

10) London – £75,990

And here is the full list of the ten ‘worst’ places to start a business in the UK, as well as each city’s average annual business launch cost:

1) Truro – £22,306

2) St.Davids – £8,511

3) Bangor – £8,930

4) Wells – £15,299

5) Stirling – £15,482

6) Ripon – £7,989

7) Lichfield – £11,083

8) Perth – £9,007

9) Preston – £20,162

10) Salisbury – £19,405

The above cities have made the top ten ‘worst’ list because of either a very poor talent pool size, high rent and service provider costs or poor broadband, or a combination of these factors.

These average annual costs consider office rental, the cost of hiring a marketing, IT support, recruitment, accountancy, website and SEO agency, as well as the cost of internet and phone providers. It does not consider employee wages or corporation tax. 

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com said,

“When it comes to starting a business, choosing where to set up shop is always one of your first decisions. For decades, London has been the obvious choice for new businesses, however, we’re seeing that more and more people are opting to start their enterprise outside of the capital. 

“Like Manchester and Birmingham, Leeds is fast becoming recognised as a business hotspot, so it’s not a surprise that it tops our list. It’s great to see the North of England getting the business accolade it deserves.”

Shortlisted for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards

I was recently lucky enough to be shortlisted in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards in the Young Entrepreneur of the Year category. But what this really does is shine a light on what the whole team at Bark has achieved over the last four years.

When we started in 2015, our mission was simple; we wanted to make finding and hiring the perfect local service professional as quick and easy as buying something from eBay or Amazon.  We knew we had to have a platform that worked for buyers and sellers, and in achieving that, we’ve helped more than 500,000 small businesses and sole traders register their services and win business.

One thing is for sure, and that is that we wouldn’t have grown as we have without hiring amazing and talented people. In the last few years, we’ve built a great team that all pull together to drive the company forward. And that’s the best reason to enter awards – to celebrate the hard work and the achievements of the team.

Fear of knees and the wind amongst most unusual diagnosed phobias in the UK

Everyone has something they’re afraid of, whether common fears such as spiders, heights or something a little more unusual. However, there are people across the country who struggle with the most irrational fears and phobias.

Phobias are most commonly triggered by a particularly stressful or traumatic event, and can be linked to a certain place, situation or object. They can develop at any time, however simple or specific phobias, such as a fear of heights, usually develop during childhood. Phobias can also be caused by learnt behaviour or picked up from an early age. 

We have seen a 36% rise in demand for phobia therapists in the last three years, and a 2016 study by the Mental Health Foundation found that approximately 2% of the UK population will have a phobia, with women twice as likely as men to suffer*.

From a fear of knees to a fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth, we asked surveyed more than 2,000 of our phobia therapists ‘What unusual phobias are you currently treating or have recently treated?’.  

The most unusual phobias which therapists are treating in the UK, along with how many clients are receiving treatment include:

  1. Arachibutyrophobia – the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth (1)
  2. Genuphobia – the fear of knees (1)
  3. Anemophobia – the fear of wind (1)
  4. Nomophobia – the fear of being without your mobile phone (2)
  5. Domatophobia – the fear of houses or being in a house (3)
  6. Omphalophobia – the fear of belly buttons (4)
  7. Allodoxaphobia – the fear of opinions (5)
  8. Venustraphobia – the fear of beautiful women (7)
  9. Linonophobia – the fear of string (9)
  10. Chorophobia – the fear of dancing (9)

Bark.com also worked with its therapists to put together a general guide on how to deal with a phobia. 

  1. Try exposure therapy – also known as flooding, this is a form of behavioural therapy and desensitisation that works by exposing you to your fear for an extended period of time. Once your immediate panic subsides, you can confront your fear directly.
  2. Learn and practice what calms you down – try different calming exercises and workout what helps to keep your calm. When you are feeling particularly scared or anxious, you can use these techniques to stop you from feeling overwhelmed. Taking slow, deep breaths is a tried and tested method.
  3. Exercise – a short walk, a run or a session at the gym can help to refocus your mind and keep you grounded.
  4. Find a support group – seek support from like-minded people who will listen to you and understand what you’re going through.
  5. Educate yourself – the vast majority of phobias are irrational, so making yourself more aware of your fear and reading up on it can help you understand more about the phobia, as well as reduce the amount of anxiety you feel.
  6. Meditation – mindfulness-based stress reduction, such as meditation, can help sufferers to soothe nerves and better regulate emotions, reducing the anxiety felt when facing a phobia.
  7. Seek help from a therapist –  if you decide that you need help from a professional, there are various forms of ‘talking treatments’, including cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnotherapy that can help you manage and lessen your symptoms.
  8. Consider medications – medication is usually only recommended for a short period of time, as it’s best to see if other forms of therapy will work in the long-term, but medicine such as antidepressants or beta-blockers can be used alongside these techniques to help treat phobias.

To find an experienced therapist near you, click here.

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, commented,

“We all have our own anxieties, but there are a lot of people who suffer from irrational and often crippling fear. Some phobias may seem trivial, but they should be taken seriously, which is why we have partnered with our therapists to create this comprehensive guide. I’m sure many who read this will be amazed at what some people are scared of, we hope that these tips will be helpful to those suffering from even the most unusual of fears.”

*https://www.clinical-partners.co.uk/for-adults/anxiety-disorders/phobias

Can you help this eco-conscious couple? Roadkill caterer/chef required for wedding breakfast

At Bark.com, we like to ensure that we are providing the best service we can to customers via our marketplace, but sometimes some requests are little bit too niche, even for our big community of traders and service providers.

It isn’t a job for the squeamish and incredibly different to the usual types of requests that we receive, but a couple is hoping to find a chef who is willing to help them prepare a wedding breakfast made from roadkill to help offset their carbon footprint.

The request stated:

The environment is so important to us, and will continue to be as we settle down and start our family. Although money isn’t too much of an issue, weddings are resource heavy and result in so much waste that we don’t want to have any part in that.

We know that this isn’t something the ‘average’ chef would be happy in helping us with, but are hoping that someone with the right skills and our same passion for the environment can step forward and help us out. We have sourced the meat, so all they’d need to do is come up with some delicious recipes to put on a roadkill banquet for our 30 guests, we have approximately 20kg of roadkill meat in our freezer!

We have budgeted £5,000 for catering so we hope that this is enough to convince someone to help us with our unusual request. We need someone who obviously has experience in preparing wild meat and is able to skin, butcher and prepare the food beautifully. 

We personally have been eating roadkill meat for about three years now, neither of us wanted to go vegetarian but were becoming increasingly concerned about the state of the environment. That being said, not all of our friends and family agree with this lifestyle choice so we would need the chef to be able to ‘dress it up’ so that our guests are unaware of what they’re eating.

Hopefully we can sit down for a consultation with someone amazingly skilled soon where we can discuss this further. If you think you can help, or know anyone who can, please, please get in touch!

If you think you can help this couple out, please fill in this form:

Bark.com co-founder, Kai Feller said,

“One of the best things about weddings is being able to make it your own – whether that’s with the decor, venue, or the food. I guess in this instance, the couple really want to show their commitment to not only each other, but to their lifestyle.

“We pride ourselves on being able to connect customers with the perfect professional, no matter what the job is. Hopefully this couple can find the right person to help make their big day exactly how they want it.”